TYMBA National Championship 2019

November 11, 2019 in Recent Highlights by RDTC

A few weekends ago the band took part in the long awaited TYMBA National Championships which was held at the prestigious Royal Marines Whale Island Barracks. Having been successful in qualifying competitions, the band were eager to put their best foot forward once again.

On arrival, the band split into sections and took part in workshops led by current serving Royal Marine Musicians. They were accompanied by members from other competing bands that had also travelled from around the UK. After the workshop they were shown a glimpse into the life of a Royal Marine Musician with a presentation from some of the staff. After some lunch it was back to work; this time for rehearsals of our display routines with the support and professional eyes of a Marines Musician. This also gave us our first real glimpse of other competing bands and the competition was high!

After rehearsals we were shown to our accommodation which had been a talking point amongst the band for many weeks leading up to the weekend. It is not uncommon for the band to stay in a variety of venues; hotels/hostels/tents/school halls…but this was a new experience for all band members. Our accommodation was none other than HMS Excellent! Whilst there were a variety of feelings about staying onboard a working Naval Warship the band found the experience one to remember or years to come.

Day 2 – competition day. We had rehearsed as much as possible, the NCOs were busy helping younger band members as we were implementing our new #AskAnNCO slogan and the boot polish and hairspray was flowing. First up was the open class which gave us a chance to work off some nerves before the afternoon National Class. There is nothing quite like the calm before the storm as you’re waiting behind the doors to go marching onto the display square. Afternoon came and it was time for the National Class. With the audience prepared and the judges waiting, we stepped off – all those hours of rehearsals and mosquito bites gained from late night practises were about to be made worth it. The crack of boots hitting the floor rang out across the hanger and we ended in rapturous applause.

RDTC National Champions

The final and most strenuous part came with the massed band award ceremony. All the bands that took part in both classes did an amazing job and we ourselves learnt from the others around us. Results came in and after some nail biting moments we were declared the National Champions and to help remind us, we were presented with an impressive trophy to take centre spot in our cabinet. We also came away with three Golds in the Open Class and the best Drum Major award. In celebration, we commandeered the Marines parade square for a rendition of our award winning, “Zorba the Greek”, joined by our good friends from Tonbridge 17th Scout and Guide Band. Not wanting to waste time we packed up and headed home but not before having various renditions of we are the champions on the coach home….thankfully we won a marching band contest, though as a choir we are not quite there. A brilliant weekend, fantastic effort from the band, staff, supporters, Royal Marines and all other bands involved. A weekend and trip to remember. #AskAnNCO.

RDTC National Champions